Standard Solar helps the Catholic University of America forward its commitment to sustainability by with the DC area’s largest urban community solar array

The Catholic University of America (CUA) West Campus Solar Array brings clean energy savings to D.C. residents, nonprofits and businesses and underscores the university’s commitment to sustainability, which includes direct benefits for the surrounding community. Standard Solar owns and operates the 7.5 MW community solar array, which is located on the university campus.

The 42-row system generates about 10,000 MWh of solar energy each year, helping advance D.C.’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2032 and carbon neutrality by 2050. Additionally, the project offers educational opportunities for students at all levels as they learn about sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The array was installed on an undeveloped portion of Catholic University’s 173.4-acre West Campus and highlights the University’s continued commitment to innovative and sustainable energy solutions. It helps position the university as a leader in renewable energy within the district, the broader D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region and internationally.

The University also has 2,700 solar panels, four LEED-certified buildings, EV charging stations, modern energy infrastructure and a five-year Sustainability Plan. Additionally, Catholic University was one of the first universities to sign on to the Laudato Si Action Platform and has been featured in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges for four consecutive years.

“This West Campus solar farm project is not just a renewable energy venture; it’s a testament to The Catholic University of America’s dedication to creating a sustainable future for our nation and world,” said President Peter Kilpatrick, Catholic University. “As we illuminate our campus with clean energy, we also enlighten minds through education and invite the community to join us on this transformative journey toward a greener and more sustainable world.”

The West Campus Solar Array is the region’s largest urban ground-mount solar array and is saving 7.115 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to removing 1,547 cars from roads annually or eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from nearly 800,630 gallons of gasoline. The farm also helps advance energy equity because it provides clean energy savings to over 1,200 subscribers within the community and is projected to provide $3.5 million to these subscribers over 20 years.

“Undertaking a project of this magnitude in an urban setting presents its challenges, but the potential rewards for the region are immense,” said Scott Wiater, President & CEO, Standard Solar. “The West Campus Solar Array will power the university sustainably and benefit the local community. It’s a true win-win scenario for all involved.”

“Given our university’s location in the heart of Washington, D.C., we are deeply committed to serving as responsible stewards of the Earth,” said Robert Specter, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & University Treasurer. “Our aim is to earnestly support the clean energy and energy-efficiency goals advocated by our elected officials.”

In June 2024 the University held a “Powering On” ceremony to celebrate the completion of the array. Attendees included Peter Kilpatrick, Catholic University President; Scott Wiater, President & CEO, of Standard Solar; Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor for Equity and Workforce at the U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office; Jack McDougle, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade; and Steve Farole, President of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA).